United States District Court, D. Nevada
R. HICKS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Tabibian moves the court to reconsider the dismissal of this
matter as moot. ECF No. 42. The Secretary of the Department
of the Interior and the Bureau of Indian Affairs
(“BIA”) opposed the motion, and Tabibian replied.
ECF Nos. 43, 44. The court now denies the motion.
brought this suit after the BIA denied her application for
placement on the judgment roll of the Western Shoshone Claims
Distribution Act. ECF No. 1. The BIA denied her application
for her failure to have ¼ blood quantum level of
Western Shoshone. Id.
August 2015, the parties stipulated to the remand of this
case to the BIA. ECF No. 7. The court remanded the action,
ruling “the [c]ourt's approval of this stipulation
for remand shall constitute a final judgment in this action
as to Stephanie Tabibian….” ECF No. 9.
the matter was remanded, two years passed without contact
between the parties and without placement of Tabibian on the
judgment roll. ECF No. 26. Tabibian therefore moved the court
for an order compelling defendants to place her on the
judgment roll. Id. But Tabibian was added to the
judgment roll on November 14, 2017, before her motion was
addressed by the court. ECF Nos. 30, 36, 38.
therefore moved for final judgment, asking the court to
approve the BIA's decision to add her to the judgment
roll, to prohibit the BIA from disenrolling her from the
judgment roll, and to compel defendants to disburse the
recovery owed under the Act. ECF No. 36. The court denied the
motion as moot, stating:
Even if a final judgment has not been entered in the case as
Tabibian contends, the case became moot when the issue
presented by Tabibian was no longer live. She sued the
defendants to enforce her right to be placed on the judgment
roll, which would then allow her to recover under the Act.
The case therefore became moot once Tabibian was added to the
judgment roll and gained the right to recover under the Act.
The court does not sway in its decision even though its
finding results from the defendants voluntarily ceasing the
challenged conduct…. On remand, the BIA completely
reversed its finding that Tabibian was ineligible for
placement on the judgment roll; the change addresses her
objections to the BIA's original finding of
ineligibility; the BIA changed its decision in response to
the initiation of this case; and Tabibian does not provide
any allegations that suggest the BIA has attempted to revoke
her status on the judgment roll since the change in the
BIA's decision. Further, the challenged activity resulted
from an administrative error, which has  been resolved.
Because the court presumes that the BIA changed its decision
in good faith and finds little reason to doubt the BIA's
change in its decision, the court holds that the defendants
have met their burden of demonstrating mootness. The court
therefore dismisses the case as moot.
ECF No. 41 (footnotes removed). The court also acknowledged that
Tabibian had not received the funds owed to her under the
Act. Id. at fn. 3. But the court stated that it did
not “believe the two-month delay suggest[ed] that the
BIA will revoke Tabibian's eligibility for the judgment
roll or that the defendants will fail to pay the funds
owed.” Id. The court further instructed that
Tabibian may pursue relief in a new suit if the BIA revokes
its current decision. Id. (citing Rosebrock v.
Mathis, 745 F.3d 963, 974 (9th Cir. 2014) (recognizing
the plaintiffs' right to pursue relief in a new suit if
the challenged activity were to resume)). Tabibian now moves
the court to reconsider its decision. ECF No. 42.
motion for reconsideration is an “extraordinary remedy,
to be used sparingly in the interests of finality and
conservation of judicial resources.” Carroll v.
Nakatani, 342 F.3d 934, 945 (9th Cir. 2003). As such, a
motion for reconsideration should not be granted absent newly
discovered evidence, an indication that the court committed
clear error, or an intervening change in the controlling law.
Kona Enterprises, Inc. v. Estate of Bishop, 229 F.3d
877, 890 (9th Cir. 2000).
moves the court to reconsider its dismissal of this matter as
moot, stating defendants have not ceased the challenged
conduct and that Tabibian has not yet received ...